Sunday, February 08, 2009

". . . fifteen seconds, MacGyver!"

I've already blogged about The Death Car: I have an old Civic Wagon that I keep on the road as my winter beater. I'm trying to stretch another season or two out of it.

The rear bumper is held on with plastic clips. But the sheet metal that these clips pop in to is rotting away, so the right side of the bumper is waving in the breeze - and now, the unsupported weight of the bumper is beginning to unzip the anchors along the top of it, popping them out from the right side to the left, as each clip in turn is forced to bear more weight.

So when I got to work on Friday and parked the car, I realized that the bumper is distinctly falling off the car. This is not good.

A quick inventory showed that I had a Swiss Army 'Classic' in my pocket, and a desk in my office that was chock-full of paperclips. It was the matter of a moment to take my pocket knife, punch a hole in the plastic bumper, and twist a paperclip through to hold the bumper on to the car until I could drive home and make a slightly more permanent repair.

It worked.

Saturday, I went out with a drill and put a few more holes in the bumper, and attached it to the car more firmly with several nylon cable-ties. Two minutes with a drill and a nickel's worth of ties and I'm good to go.

It's just rude to have major car-parts fall off your vehicle and inconvenience innocent bystanders...

Coda: I was telling this story around the watercooler at my office, and co-worker noted:

My brother who lives in Arizona tells me that a campesinio will pay a
coyote up to $5,000 to bring him into the United States, where he can find work and not have to drive a car like that.

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At 1:08 PM, Blogger Aaron J. Heller said...

Make sure you use UV-rated cable ties. I recall that one of the many transmission line unzipping episodes at WRPI was caused by the tower riggers using cable ties that rotted away from the exposure to sunlight.

"Make" had a segment on cable ties recently:


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